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Re: Can you query rdf:List easily? (WAS Re: update on vCard edits and The Compromise)

From: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 11:46:17 +0200
Message-ID: <1f2ed5cd0707310246q48df0419v95a6e9675978ec0a@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Garret Wilson" <garret@globalmentor.com>
Cc: "Bruce D'Arcus" <bdarcus@gmail.com>, andy.seaborne@hp.com, bnowack@appmosphere.com, "Harry Halpin" <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>, "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>

On 30/07/07, Garret Wilson <garret@globalmentor.com> wrote:
> OK, this thread is freaking me out. Comments below:
> Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> >
> > Just to remind people, Norm made what I consider to be the right
> > decision on names originally: restricting the cardinality of the name
> > parts to 1. That's pragmatic: simple to encode, to convert in and out
> > of the hCard microformat, and simple to query. It's exactly the kind
> > of thing that the RDF world needs to be doing more of.
> But think of what you're saying! You're saying that Norm restricted the
> cardinality of names to 1, not because that is what most closely models
> the semantics of a name, but because it seems nigh impossible to
> practically model lists of things in RDF! Does that not make you want to
> cry?

Sorry, did I miss something here? What I see in Norm's vocab [1] is
use of singular properties, but without any cardinality restrictions.
A list of names can be expressed as e.g. :

 vCard:fn "Daniel John Ayers" ;
 vCard:additionalName "Danny Ayers" ;
 vCard:additionalName "Danny J. Ayers" ;
 vCard:additionalName "DJ Ayers" ;

Forgive me for not trawling back along the thread, but I suspect there
are two possible reasons explicit lists might have been suggested:
cardinality constraint and order. Where these are needed, I'd propose
using a kind of out-of-band approach, e.g.

 vCard:approvedNames ( "Daniel John Ayers" "Danny Ayers" ) .

In the general case, model-wise, a cardinality constrained list
doesn't really seem appropriate (e.g. years back a magazine publisher
had me down as "Dan Ayers" without my explicit approval, but I had no

RDF Containers introduce additional structural complexity without any
benefit as far as I can see. RDF Collections don't play nice with
SPARQL and introduce additional structural complexity without any
benefit (in the typical case) as far as I can see.


[1] http://norman.walsh.name/2005/12/05/vcard


Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:46:34 UTC

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